Mental Illness In Shutter Island

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The movie Shutter Island is overwhelmingly filled with themes of mental health. Before moving into the content of this paper I would like to disclose this movie contains a false and melodramatic portrayal of mental illness, this is not an accurate representation of the field. The movie begins with Federal Marshal Teddy Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his new partner traveling to a secluded island containing a mental facility for the criminally insane. They are supposedly there to investigate a missing patient, however, throughout the movie we see clips with signs and symptoms that point to Teddy’s own diagnosis of a mental disorder. That maybe Teddy isn’t exactly on the island for an investigation but has his own hidden secrets to uncover. In the final scene, we discover that Teddy (real name Andrew Laeddis) is severely suffering from his own mental health…show more content…
As previously described, Andrew clearly meets criteria A. for PTSD, with multiple and many exposures to traumatic experiences. Andrew evidently also meets criteria B. as he experiences intrusive symptoms associated with the traumatic event. For Andrew, all intrusive symptoms listed in the DSM are experienced. Intrusive symptoms include recurrent, involuntary, and distressing memories, distressing dreams such as nightmares, dissociative reactions such as flashbacks, intense prolonged psychological distress at exposure to cues that symbolize or resemble an aspect of the traumatic event(s), and marked physiological reactions to resemblances of the traumatic event(s). Some examples from the movie of these symptoms playing out include Andrew suffering from flashbacks to WWII of concentration camps and assembly-line style mass murder, and Andrew experiencing nightmares blurred together with experiences of his family and the war, containing images such as water, his children, and the gun used to shoot his

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